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Dr. Josiah Nyagwachi Supports Dr. Mutua Approach

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Machakos road. Dr. Nyagwachi (Picture Insert) Machakos road. Dr. Nyagwachi (Picture Insert)

Dr. Josiah Nyagwachi in a discussion comment writes, “The 'Dr Mutua Road Model' for planning, design and construction of urban and rural roads is still an inspiration and challenge to many in the engineering and construction industry across the world, despite the perceived problems relative to: quality of running surface, potholes, traffic loadings and so forth - which are common issues whether it is class A, B, C or D type of road. What I think is significant is to: evaluate, document and perfect the 'Dr Mutua Road Model' for replication elsewhere in the country and Africa.” He adds, “Road planning, design, funding and construction requires a careful balancing act between: cost, quality, mobility, safety and availability of funding. Dr Mutua scored well on all the above factors, given the 'before' situation - muddy and impassable road.”

With this comment Dr. Nyagwachi gives a positive review to Dr.Mutua. However Gnabry DeLaVega disagrees as he writes, “I disagree Daktari. Regardless of the class of road we should consider the shelf life and long term cost of maintenance. This is not a permanent solution. This is a matter for expert commentary and should not be linked with socio-political issues born out of desperation and the need for quick fixes. What is needed is, I hate this phrase but I will use it anyway, sustainable development."

Sitaki_Upusi (I don’t want nonsense) as he or she has created his or her identity, makes known to Gnabry DeLaVega what he or she is thinking by commenting, “Tell me a good road in Kenya that has no issues. They all cost billions, take eternity, and are substandard. I'll accept Mutua's model anytime and improve it to avoid some of those problems.”

Dr. Mutua approach whereas new in Kenya is not new in the World. Indeed, many developed countries that are faced with extreme weather variations do not develop roads based on shelf life or longevity; but, rather on meeting peoples current needs per available budgets and continued maintenance. Yes, this road can end up with some potholes. However, a clear set maintenance and improvement system that has a funding budget can keep the road in good condition free of potholes all year round every year. When such a system is created it is also part of sustainable development.  

Dr. Mutua should be congratulated for achieving a road with the available budget regardless of quality level. The road, "as is," now will lead to more revenue to the County. The next step the County Government should consider is to pass a bill that leads to property directly benefitting from this road contributing toward the road maintenance.  

Let’s say the bill raises Kshs 100 million an year about Kshs 1 billion in 10 years. This money can maintain the road and further create a second layer during the 10 years. It the people who use this road had waited until the estimated Kshs 1.6 billion that would create the perfect road as some may want then those now benefitting would have suffered for many years.

The road will enable people the roads services to produce and transport their propduce easily. The road also saves thousands of hours that were previously lost; these hous can be invested on other economic activities. These savings and new earnings are what will sustain the road. This is what sustainable development is about.  

Sustainable Development is not just quality. Dr. Nyagwachi words, “planning, design, funding and construction requires a careful balancing act between: cost, quality, mobility, safety and availability of funding,” are part of sustainable development.

The road will achieve sustainable development in productivity increase, saving transport time, decrease in pollution through dust, improvement of health for residents, more crop yield based on better transportation, more revenue for produce will reach market fresh and many other benefits. All these benefits are part of sustainable development.

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